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"I know what you're thinking, punk. 'Did he fire six shots or only five?' Well, to tell you the truth, I've forgotten myself in all this excitement. But being as this is a .44 Magnum, the most powerful handgun in the world, and would blow your head clean off, you've got to ask yourself a question: Do I feel lucky? Well, do ya, punk?"
And remember, compared to other guns, Revolvers Are Just Better
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One of Colt's most popular revolvers, along with the Single Action Army. Chambered for the powerful .357 Magnum round, this gun was still hand-fitted and assembled up until it was discontinued by Colt, instead of by machine, making them very expensive to produce compared to equivalent Smith & Wesson or Ruger revolvers. The Python can be distinguished by the "rib" on top of the barrel (which, unlike a ventilation rib on a shotgun barrel, actually serves no purpose
). In addition, the cylinder rotation (clockwise) and barrel rifling (counter-clockwise) are the opposite of every other major revolver maker; the latter is a big red flag to ballistics labs. Colt also released several other "snake" guns (King Cobra, Diamondback, Anaconda), but these were production weapons and did not enjoy the same degree of hand-fitting that the Python did. (Though still with more hand-fitting than most competing revolvers.) Notable also is its rich, "Royal Blue" finish. Which is appropriate given how popular they were with royalty, having been collected by King Juan Carlos of Spain, just about every Middle Eastern monarchnote
, and the King of Rock & Roll
. The Python was a popular gun although expensive even in its time; Colt manufactured the less labor intensive Trooper series in the same caliber as a lower cost alternative to the Python.
- Cool Action: the 'reload flick', a trick seen in films with all revolvers with the cylinder on a swingarm, the shooter hits the cylinder release latch and ejects the casings like one normally would but after reloading he flicks the gun to the right with his wrist, the momentum sending the cylinder swingarm back into position. NEVER try this in real life; it puts unnecessary stress on the cylinder swingarm and can actually bend it, putting the cylinder out of alignment with the barrel, which can and does have explosive consequences. Spinning the cylinder first only makes it worse, and is likely to result in you being shot a filthy look by any wheelgun fan who sees you do it.
- One of the more powerful weapons in the Half-Life series, with the power equivalent to that of two shotgun blasts up close.
- Quincy Archer of Survival of the Fittest fell in love with this gun from playing the above game, so naturally it was assigned to his hated enemy, Warren Pace. Quincy himself got stuck with boxing gloves.
- Ryo's constant companion in the City Hunter series and movies. His is supposedly "One in a thousand" (which was a special rating for Remington Rifles, also "one in 10,000", never applied to Colt Pistols).
- Don't know about the anime, but in the manga the 'One in One Thousand' was a .41 Magnum Smith & Wesson which he used to pull off an impossible shot in one particular story arc.
- Barry Burton's weapon of choice in the original Resident Evil. Jill or Chris can also get one, though it's not as powerful as Barry's (handwaved by stating that Barry customized his).
- Able Team. Ex-cop Carl Lyons carries one with a Magna-Ported six-inch barrel, among his many other guns.
- The weapon of choice of Heroic Albino Jak Lauren in Death Lands, alongside of being a Knife Nut.
- Tommy Vercetti gets one of these in Grand Theft Auto: Vice City. It's the most powerful hand gun in the game, capable of killing any unarmored enemy in one shot (and armored enemies in two), but you can't move while aiming it, and it has a slow fire rate.
- General Shepherd uses a .44 Magnum Anaconda in Modern Warfare 2; the player can get it in multiplayer both here and in MW3.
- The Python is in Call of Duty: Black Ops, also usable in multiplayer (with options of both full-length and snub-nose barrels) and shows up sporadically in single player; it's apparently Mason's sidearm of choice.
- Buffalo Bill in The Silence of the Lambs. Killed when he cocks it before firing, giving away his position in the dark.
- The 37mm revolver cannons used by the police Labors in Patlabor are scaled up versions of the Python.
- Gene Hunt from Life On Mars and Ashes to Ashes carries this as his sidearm.
- Rick Grimes uses one in The Walking Dead.
- The Spy from Team Fortress 2 uses one as his default weapon.
- A very powerful weapon in 7.62 High Calibre, but hampered by slow reloading times and a slow rate of fire.
- Used by one of the vigilante cops in Magnum Force. Harry is able to match the ballistics thanks to a Batman Gambit.
- Appears in Perfect Dark, where it's called the DY357 Magnum. It's one of the game's more powerful sidearms, although it has a very slow reloading sequence. In a reference to Golden Eye 1997, the previous FPS by the same developers, NSA director Trent Easton gets the "DY357-LX", a gold version with tiger-print grips, that kills anything that can be killed in one bullet.
- In Alan Wake the eponymous protagonist uses one as his primary weapon.
- Though there is a degree of Depending on the Artist, Jack Point carries one as his sidearm of choice.
- Kirkland carries one in Police Academy 2: Their First Assignment. Most prominently featured in the scene where she compares sidearms with Tackleberry, where she tells him that "A .357 can crack the engine block of a truck."
Colt Single Action Army
The Single Action Army, also known as the Peacemaker or Equalizer, is Colt's original .45 revolver (though in civilian use, the .44-40 version, known as the "Frontier Six-Shooter", was more popular since it allowed a cowboy to have a revolver and a lever-action rifle - most commonly the Winchester Model 1873 - that fired the same ammo
). Developed in 1873, the Single Action Army eventually became the standard amongst gun-toting citizens of The Wild West
for its reliability and high performance. Even after the West ceased to be "wild", the SAA remained popular and Colt continued to produce them up until the outbreak of World War II
focused all of their attention on military contracts, and resumed in 1956 because the growing popularity of Westerns
resulted in significant new demand. As its name suggests, this gun is a single action, which meant the hammer had to be pulled back after every shot. Also, it had a "fixed" frame, with the cylinder chambers accessible only via a thumb-operated loading gate — the weapon could only be loaded and unloaded a single round at a time. Typically in real life it would only be loaded with five rounds ("load one, skip one, load four", as single-action shooters put it) since the SAA's hammer has the potential to "bounce" when jostled; with nothing between the hammer and firing pin, this has the potential to set off a cartridge (some modern reproductions fix this flaw; the most faithful ones intentionally do not, nor do the current-production Colts); this is usually not shown in fictional depictions. Known among shooters for its "four-click
" cocking, with the clicks being said to spell out "C-O-L-T". The SAA is made primarily in three barrel lengths: 7.5 inch (the original cavalry-issue length and also popular with civilians for target shooting), 5.5 inch (originally issued to artillery troops, with most cavalry-issue pistols eventually converted to this length) and 4.75 inch (exclusively for civilian sales, and popular among many gunfighters because it allowed a quicker draw since a shorter barrel clears the holster faster). In 1894, the famous "Bisley" variant, with a slightly bent-forward grip and a slightly bent-down hammer spur, was introduced for target shooting at the Bisley, England firing range...but most of them were actually bought for self-defense, as the modifications allowed for quicker shooting as well as easier aiming.
- Cool Action: Fan firing. Since the SAA is single action, holding the trigger while manually operating the hammer with the palm of the other hand lets the user fire the weapon quickly. A gunslinger will often use this trick to deal with a group of goons. Not good for accurate shooting or for the long-term "health" of the gun; Don't Try This at Home.
- Featured heavily in most Westerns, even if they're set prior to 1873. Expect a cowboy to carry at least one and often two or more around with him.
- Weapon of choice for Revolver Ocelot in the Metal Gear Solid games. In the third game, we find out Big Boss introduced Ocelot to it, and it's available as a New Game+ reward.
- General Patton famously owned one with ivory handles and silver casting (definitely not pearl handles), alongside a Smith & Wesson Model 27 .357 Magnum (his ivory-handled Colt was originally part of a matching set, but by the time of World War II he'd given one of them to a friend). And usually also a pocket pistol or two hidden away; Patton believed in always being armed.
- In the novels, James Bond keeps a long-barreled version in his vehicle for when he needs more firepower.
- Back to the Future III had a scene where a Colt dealer gave Marty a Single Action Army (using the "Peacemaker" name) and he promptly demonstrated his videogame-learned Improbable Aiming Skills.
- Claire in Resident Evil 2 can get her grubby mitts on one with a Western themed outfit, and yes she does use fan firing.
- The Buntline Special, wielded by famous lawman Wyatt Earp and showing up in many Westerns with Earp as a major character (i.e. Tombstone). Sadly, though, he more than likely used a Smith & Wesson top-break at the O.K. Corral, and the story of the Buntline Special is at least partially fictional. But a long-barreled (exactly how long is unknown, as the gun is lost to history and Colt's records for custom orders in that era are spotty) SAA with detachable shoulder stock was among the guns Earp used in his career.
- Most of the characters in Tombstone use Peacemakers; notably Doc Holliday dual wields one along with a .38 Colt Lightning.
- Red Dead Revolver features multiple variations on the SAA, each with a different made-up name.
- It's featured in Red Dead Redemption as the Cattlemen Revolver (anachronistic, as that's the brand name Uberti uses for its modern reproductions).
- In Burning Water, Diana Tregarde says that her current personal gun is a Colt .45.
- Roland Deschain's revolvers (and by extension, those of Cort, Cuthbert, Alain and the other gunslingers of Gilead) in Stephen King's The Dark Tower series are clearly based off the Colt. Justified; after all, Roland is The Gunslinger.
- Two variations on the SAA, the "Peacemaker" and "Buntline" appear in Final Fantasy VII as weapons for Vincent.
- In Cowboy Bebop, Cowboy Andy carries a pair of SAA's as part of his cowboy motif. Also featured in the Show Within a Show "Big Shots" on various occasions.
- In one frame of the Puella Magi Madoka Magica manga, Homura is seen with one, in contrast to the usual Beretta 92 or Desert Eagle she's portrayed with.
- Used by Sylvester Stallone as Barney Ross in The Expendables.
- The so-called "Schofield .45" revolver in Serious Sam is an SAA with a swing-out cylinder and Bottomless Magazines thanks to a "Techno-Magical Ammunition Replenisher".
- In Sakura Taisen V, samurai cowgirl Gemini Sunrise carries one on her belt, but unlike her katana it never actually gets used for anything.
- As of 2011, the Colt Peacemaker is the "official gun" of Arizona.
- Available in the Blue Sun mod for 7.62 High Caliber from an early point in the game, in several barrel lengths and either in .45 Long Colt or .357 Magnum. Considering that the game is Gun Porn and they need to compete with Uzis and Glocks from the start, carrying one is more for the cool factor than their practicality.
So along came The Western
, and it was good. Suddenly there was a spike in demand for "cowboy" style single-action revolvers in the style of the Colt SAA. There was one minor
problem; Colt wasn't making them at that point (having switched over to law enforcement and defense), and neither was anyone else. Along came Bill Ruger, maker of .22LR target pistols and all-purpose gun genius (along with being regarded as The Quisling
by the American firearms community). Having tested the waters with the .22 "Single Six" model, he then offered what was essentially a modernized SAA. Simplifying the lockwork, and using modern coil springs as opposed to Colt-style flat leaf springs, the Blackhawk was strong enough to support the mighty .357 and .44 Magnum calibers, and its success caused Colt to start offering the SAA again. A lawsuit involving a negligent discharge (with a stolen gun; although the jury wasn't informed of that fact), led to the "transfer bar," making the Blackhawk the first single action revolver that could be safely carried with all six cylinders loaded note
(and ugly "billboard" warning labeling on all Ruger weapons from that point forward; as a result "pre-warning" Rugers command a slight premium from collectors). The .44 Magnum variant was actually offered before
the Smith & Wesson Model 29 (allegedly Ruger got their hands on some spent casings from S&W's testing of the Model 29 and were able to rush the .44 Magnum version to market as a result), and many argue that the single action "spin" grip makes a better platform for the cartridge.
- Detective John Hartigan in Sin City, as well as several other characters.
- Mickey Rourke in Harley Davidson and the Marlboro Man learned to shoot with a Ruger. It is why he is such poor shot (until the script demands otherwise).
- The ".357 Magnum Revolver" in Fallout: New Vegas.
- Shadowrun has the basically similar Ruger Warhawk, its most powerful revolver
- Golden Eye 1997 has the Cougar Magnum, which was in beta called both the Ruger Magnum and the Blackhawk.
- James Bond in Licence Renewed brings an unofficial 44. Ruger Blackhawk with him on his assignment as a sidearm.
S&W Model 3 "Schofield"
The Pepsi to the Colt SAA's Coke, the Schofield was one of the first "top-break" revolvers (allowing the entire cylinder to be loaded in a short amount of time, at the cost of structural integrity); rolled out in 1870 for the US Army. Due to the fact that its unique .45 cartridge (shorter than the .45 Colt), despite being specifically told by the Army to chamber it in .45 Colt
, could be loaded in the Colt and not vice versa, large numbers of Schofields were pulled from military service and sold on the civilian market. Since it was faster to load and less expensive than the Colt (some things never change), it was very popular with cops and robbers alike in the Wild West. Often underrepresented in period Westerns, due to the iconic status of the Colt. Related models like the Model 3 "Russian" (so named because it was bought in large numbers by the Tsar's army; its .44 Russian cartridge was the basis of the .44 Special, which in turn was the basis of the legendary .44 Magnum) were also popular. And built in much larger numbers by S&W because they didn't have to pay any royalties to Major Schofield for the other Model 3 subtypes.
S&W Model 10 "Military & Police"
A .38 Specialnote
revolver produced by Smith & Wesson, and an early example of the "swing-out" cylinder used in virtually all modern double-action revolvers. For most of the 20th Century, this weapon, along with Colt's revolvers (its main rival), was practically synonymous with "police gun," replacing older .32 caliber revolvers and reigning supreme until the rise of the double-stack auto. If you see a police officer with a revolver in pretty much any media, it will be this one. Some police departments still use them today, and even the military has used them from time to time to arm sentries, as opposed to a heavier automatic. Smith & Wesson later standardized the M&P frame as the "K" frame, building blued and stainless steel .38 Special and .357 Magnum revolvers on it. During World War II
, it was widely used by the British and US militaries (mainly for real-line duty, but also for pilots, aircrew and sailors), and dubbed the "Victory Model". Victory Model revolvers can be easily identified by the "V" prefix on the serial number and a frame marked "UNITED STATES PROPERTY", "U.S. PROPERTY" or "U.S. NAVY".note
- As stated above, police characters in a work set before 1985 or so will generally be using this or a Colt revolver. Some notable non-police examples are:
- Michael Corleone in The Godfather. His bodyguard also uses one to commit an assassination while dressed as a cop.
- The title character in Goldfinger.
- Hannibal Smith in The A-Team.
- A female gang member in The Warriors.
- Murtaugh from the Lethal Weapon franchise carries a .357 Magnum Model 19.
- A Model 10 appears during one case in L.A. Noire but is unusable by the player.
- One of three available guns in the FPS Receiver.
- Officer Tom Hanson in 21 Jump Street carries a Model 10 as his patrol sidearm in the pilot episode. Once he goes undercover, he exchanges it for a Model 60.
- In the So Bad, It's Good slasher flick Silent Night Deadly Night Part 2, Ricky disarms a rent-a-cop of his model 15 and promptly goes on a rampage with it. The gun is used in the infamous "Garbage Day" killing.
Colt Police Revolvers
to the Smith & Wesson Model 10. Colt manufactured three revolvers with the branding "Police" during the 20th century: the Police Positive (1907-'47), the Official Police (1927-'69), and the most widely-produced version, the Police Positive Special (1908-'95). There was also the Colt Detective Special (1927-'86 and 1993-'95), a snub-nosednote
variant of the Police Positive Special which was popular among plain-clothes detectives, undercover cops and railway clerks. Colt revolvers were dominant among police officers until Smith & Wesson took the lead in The Sixties
; much like the Smith & Wesson, "Colt revolver" was shorthand for "police gun" for much of the 20th century. Well over a million were made. During World War II
, a variant of the Official Police, the Colt Commando, was used to arm military police, spies, security guards at defense plants and shipyards, and crews on merchant ships, but was made in much smaller numbers than the comparable S&W Victory Model.
Cap & ball revolver used by the Confederate side during the American Civil War
. Its claim to Rule of Cool
status comes from the fact that the nine-shot cylinder revolves around a secondary barrel which fires a 16-gauge buckshot round. It was significantly bulkier than other revolvers of the period, and significantly more expensive, so even in its time it was rare. But those cavalrymen who could afford one loved them, since the added weight's no big deal when your horse is the one carrying it. Expect a scene where the Gun Goes Click
, only for the user to fire the second barrel at the surprised antagonist. Modern reproductions are available from the Pietta company of Brescia, Italy.
- Cool Action: As mentioned, firing the middle barrel when it appears you've run out of ammunition.
- Firefly. Jayne Cobb uses a handgun based on the LeMat.
- Carried by the title character in Johnny Ringo, a short-lived TV Western airing 1959-60.
- Bruce Willis is handed one at the airport so he can assassinate the bioterrorist at the climax of Twelve Monkeys.
- Swede Gutzon in the Quick Draw film The Quick and the Dead.
- Dr. Theophilus Algernon Tanner in the the Deathlands novels, has carried two different LeMat revolvers.
- Cold Mountain. Carried by the male protagonist Inman.
- Used by Ezra Justice in the novel The Justice Riders, written by Chuck Norris.
- The LeMat becomes available to the player late in Red Dead Redemption, but due to the game engine not supporting alternate firing modes, the developers neglected to include the secondary buckshot feature.
- The LeMat was the Weapon of Choice of Confederate cavalry commander J.E.B. Stuart during the American Civil War.
- Carried by Allan Quartermain in the first volume of The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen.
S&W Model 29
The Dirty Harry
gun. The iconic speech Clint Eastwood
gives in that film on the benefits of heads, and the blowing clean off thereof, cemented this revolver and its .44 Magnum round as the Memetic Badass
of the gun world note
and started the action movie arms race that ended with such ridiculous Hand Cannons
as Charles Bronson
's .475 Wildey Magnum in Death Wish 3
. Large-bore revolvers are still the first choice in the field of personal artillery (since the modern choice is typically a Smith & Wesson Model 500), one major legacy is that almost every revolver in a videogame will also be a Magnum. The Model 29 was built on the same frame as the .357 Model 27 "Registered Magnum"; this would later be standardized as the "N" frame. Notably, the actual revolver used in the film is exhibit 86
at the National Firearms Museum
in Fairfax, VA.
- One of the best guns added in Fallout 2, complete with reference to above quote in the inventory description. Shows up in Fallout Tactics as well. Also present in Fallout 3 and Fallout: New Vegas as the .44 Magnum Revolver.
- The Firm. Private eye Eddie Lomax keeps one in a holster under the table, kneecapping one of the hitmen who come to kill him.
- Travis Bickle also used one, with 8-inch barrel (compared to Dirty Harry's six-incher).
- In the TV series Hunter (in the later seasons) Rick Hunter used a stainless steel version with a short barrel. So did his partner Dee Dee McCall in seasons 5-6, in an elevation from the sublime to the ridiculous (Dee Dee had previously used a .32 calibre PPK).
- Mike in webcomic Paradigm Shift.
- Funboy, in The Crow, uses a stainless steel model 629. This is most likely the weapon (due to a combination of blanks and a squib-loaded bullet lodged in the barrel) that killed Brandon Lee.
- Tackleberry, in Police Academy, carries a model 27 (given to him by his mother).
- Added to Killing Floor with the Twisted Christmas 2011 update, including an obligatory Dirty Harry Shout-Out in one of the achievements related to it.
- Dick Justice, eponymous star of the Show Within a Show featured throughout Max Payne 2 uses a Model 29 as his signature weapon.
- Daiskue Jigen from Lupin III has the Model 19 as his Weaponof Choice. Often referred to as his "Magnum".
- Note that the Smith & Wesson Model 19 (or Combat Magnum) is based on the medium-sized K frame (same size as the Model 10 listed above)rather than the larger N frame that the Model 29 is built on. The 19 is also chambered for the .357 Magnum, which is between both the Model 10's .38 Special and the .44 Magnum in terms of power.
- Added in the Blue Sun mod for 7.62 High Caliber, both in a standard version with an 8 inch barrel and in an utterly ridiculous version with a barrel going on 12 inches that can't even fit in a holster or ready pocket (which some submachine guns can do).
- Peacock from Skullgirls uses this as one of her main weapons. However, given her limited Reality Warper powers, she has modded it to shoot unusually large ammo (like, among other things, bowling balls) and to flick out swords like a giant switchblade.
- Being a Dirty Harry Expy, John Hartigan carries one at the start of That Yellow Bastard as his main sidearm. After his death, Nancy somehow manages to get hold of it and uses it to kill Senator Roark.
The Webley top-break self-extracting revolver. Used by British, British Empire
forces between 1887 and 1963 as well as civilians to this day. No, that's not a joke: in various marks, this gun was used from the Colonial wars of the Empire to manning guard posts on the Berlin Wall
, with only minor modifications in form. Fired the infamous .455 Webley round, one of the most powerful ever used in top-break revolvers, for when .45 S&W just would not cut it early in its reign. However, many later models used the .38/200 as, after World War I
, the British army decided that there WAS indeed such a thing as overkill
and that the .38/200 worked well, although many solders at the time felt that the weapon had been nerfed
One of the most widely circulated and reliable revolvers of all time, and its iconic shape and long use means it will be found in pretty much any film, game or series involving British or Commonwealth troops from the Victorian period
onwards. The most recent version, still in production today
, is a version made in India for civilian sales; it's essentially a shrunk-down version of the .38 caliber version, chambered in the near-obsolete .32 S&W Long (as India's gun laws place severe restrictions on the calibers of guns that civilians can own).
- Indiana Jones and several other Adventurer Archaeologists use this as the weapon of choice for shooting people.
- Apparently, they are still widely in use in the far future in the Whoniverse, as they appear in the Doctor Who episode "The Doctor's Daughter", amongst other places.
- And of course, Torchwood Three's Captain Jack Harkness uses a Webley Mk VI.
- Wilfred Mott in The End of Time gives the Doctor his old service revolver to kill the Master with.
- The Brigadier used a Webley revolver for his final Who appearance in Battlefield, even though he usually carried an issue 9mm Browning High Power. The fact that he was using custom silver bullets might have had something to do with it.
- Zulu, as one of many historical inaccuracies, features the Mark VI Webley because it looks a bit like the far harder to get the Beaumont-Adams Revolver actually used in the Zulu war.
- Also used in everything involving British or Commonwealth troops from World War I, World War II, or any other time period the writer feels like!
- It Happened Here (1966). The nurses in the fascist Immediate Action Organisation are taught how to use one as part of their training and indoctrination.
- Seen in the trailer for the upcoming movie A Single Man, kept in a drawer.
- In darkSector, a Webley Mark IV is available as the "Hammer 1895;" it's introduced as a Magnum that fires 7.62mm NATO (!).
- The X-Files. Frank Black is handed one to commit ritual suicide in the Millennium crossover episode. He uses it to kill zombies instead.
- An incredibly rare variant, the Webley-Fosbery automatic revolver is used by one of the villains in The Maltese Falcon. It stands out a mile due to the zig-zag pattern on the cylinder: recoil forces the whole top of the gun back, so a notch in the frame interacts with the zig-zag grove, turning the cylinder whilst the backwards motion cocks the hammer. The film claims the weapon is chambered for eight .45 rounds when in fact, it came only in 6 round .455 or eight round .38 variants meaning either someone got the facts wrong or it's been modified, which would not necessarily be that odd: in the twenties and thirties customized variants of this weapon were moderately popular with target shooters.
- Available in Medal of Honor: Spearhead when working with the British (though why you give up your M1911 is anyone's guess). Notable for the use of the "half-moon" speed-loader.
- Available as the only pistol in Bioshock, with the Power to the People machines providing various mods such as increased damage or a larger ammo capacity; by the end of the game, a fully modified Webley becomes a glowing sci-fi beast that could easily weigh up to 5 or 6 pounds.
- Joe "Sky Captain" Sullivan carries a Webley Mk IV as his sidearm in Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow. True to actual fighter pilot practice, he keeps it holstered in his boot.
- Added in Call of Duty: United Offensive and Call of Duty 2 to replace the M1911 British forces were given as a sidearm in the original game. In multiplayer it isn't any more spectacular than any other sidearm, but it also appears in a single level of CoD 2's campaign, where it is near-consistently a One-Hit Kill but cannot replenish its ammo. Notable in that the automatic extractor, much like that in every MP-412 REX ever featured in later video games, seems to have bailed on the player.
- The Webley-Fosbery revolver is used by Sean Connery in Zardoz. Other Webley variants were used by a few Exterminators towards the end of the movie.
- The Webley MK III is the gun of choice for Sherlock Holmes.
- Carried by most of the main characters in Blackadder Goes Forth, since it's set in World War I. Edmund uses one to shoot Speckled Jim in Corporal Punishment leading to his trial.
A double action, five-shot revolver capable of shooting either .45 Long Colt or .410 bore shotgun shells. The name actually started as a Fan Nickname
, after several circuit judges in Miami
started carrying the pistol for self-defense. Although popular, it tends to get the same negative rap as the Desert Eagle (bought by people who know nothing about guns) due to its inaccuracy (the cylinders are too long for the .45 cartridge, and the rifling inhibits shot patterning...though it's sufficiently accurate for the very-close-range self-defense that it's designed for), the usual misconception that one doesn't have to "aim" anything firing shotshells, and the low performance of .410 hunting rounds in a self-defense setting. There's an increasing number of .410 shells designed specifically for self-defense use in the Judge and some of them are pretty effective, but there are plenty of handguns that work at least as well and aren't as bulky.
There's also the "Raging Judge Magnum", which is based on the Taurus Raging Bull frame and adds the heavy-hitting .454 Casull (it's to .45 Colt what .357 Magnum is to .38 Special) to the list of cartridges it can chamber. Ordinary Judge revolvers have cylinders designed specifically to keep some idiot from sticking .454 Casull in them (the chambers are long enough that otherwise this would've been possible), because they're nowhere near strong enough to handle the higher-pressure round. The most recent iteration is the Circuit Judge revolving rifle, which is exactly what it sounds like: a Judge frame with a stock and a much longer barrel. No word on whether a "Circuit Judge Magnum" with .454 Casull capability will be made.
Nagant M 1895
A seven-shot, gas-seal revolver designed and produced by Belgian industrialist Léon Nagant for the Russian Empire, it acquired fame and glory in the wars of the Empire and the Soviet Union afterwards. Nearly unique for a Victorian Age
revolver for the vast majority were double-action (the few single-action models were converted afterwards), it used specially designed fully-enclosed cartridges, sealed itself against the barrel and could make good use of a sound suppressor
. So ubiquitous that during the Russian Civil War
and the 1920s
, in Russian language nagan
was the colloquial word for "pistol". People said it was so reliable that it could be dropped in the mud, bashed on concrete, rusted to the core, and chewed by a furious bear
and it would still fire without a problem. Its reliability is especially impressive given that the Nagant is significantly more complex internally than it needed to be.
It was replaced as a general issue weapon by the TT automatic pistol in the 1930's, although it was still a common weapon for paramilitary forces such as the NKVD. Some of them are still in use
for security purposes in modern Russia, usually 2 to 4 times older than men who carry them. Today, surplus Nagants are among the most inexpensive handguns that can be bought in the United States, but the same cannot be said of their unique ammunition.
Also, due to its design the Nagant M1895 was the only revolver which could use a sound suppressor effectively
(anyone who knows about revolvers designs knows that due to a gap between the front end of the cylinder and the rear end of the barrel, normally a revolver is unaffected by a sound suppressor, more detailed information on The Other Wiki
). The NKVD and KGB noticed this, and since the action
of a revolver is quieter than a semi-automatic, this made it well-suited to assassination.
The M1895 was actually the last in a long line of Léon Nagant's revolver designs, with the earlier models lacking the gas-seal mechanism having been adopted by the armies of Belgium, Norway, Sweden, Serbia, Brazil, Poland and Greece.
Charter Arms Bulldog
A snub-nosed, five-round revolver available in .357 Magnum and .44 Special (a downgraded version of .44 Magnum with less recoil). It was extraordinary popular in The Seventies
and The Eighties
, with more than half a million units sold in less than twenty years, due to its light trigger pull, its surprisingly high accuracy and power for such a small gun, and its size making it excellent for concealed carry (or a cop's backup gun). Notoriously, it was the Weapon of Choice
for the "Son of Sam" Serial Killer
, earning him the media nickname "The .44 Caliber Killer".
- Rick Deckard's blaster in Blade Runner was a heavily-modified Bulldog with the receiver and dual triggers of a Steyr Model SL rifle attached. By extension, it shows up in the 1997 video game adaptation as well.
- Also by extension the recurring unique weapon, the .223 pistol or "That Gun" from the Fallout series, which is one of its many Shout Outs to classic sci-fi movies.
- Will Graham uses one in Manhunter.
- Shows up in the Spike Lee joint Summer of Sam, which is about New Yorkers reacting to the Son of Sam serial killer.
- The Vietnamese priest in Seven Psychopaths carries a .44 Bulldog.
S&W Model 500
The hand cannon
of hand cannons
, the Model 500 is a double-action, five-round revolver firing the largest caliber production revolver cartridge available for public sale today. Designed as a serious handgun hunter's weapon, the .500 S&W Magnum round the revolver fires can take down even large African game such as cape buffalo, rhino and elephant. When Smith & Wesson created the .500 S&W Magnum, they had no weapon that could handle the muzzle energy and pressure generated by the round, so they built a whole new gun around their largest revolver frame, the X Frame. Later, the Model 460 variant was introduced, chambering the also-new .460 S&W Magnum (an even more powerful version of the already very powerful .454 Casull), which is the highest-velocity production handgun cartridge. After it debuted, it generated a fair amount of controversy in a number of state and national governments over the possibility of criminals utilizing a handgun with this much firepower. Said controversy quickly died down when legislators realized nobody in their right mind would use this thing in a shootout, the price of the weapon and its ammunition further adding to its impracticality
. Firing the weapon requires a fair amount of body strength and training, as an untrained or unfit shooter could find the recoil sending the gun into their face or the expelled gasses giving them severe burns. Thusly, the weapon is largely restricted to fit, wealthy people who want an expensive, high caliber shooting range gun or big-game handgun hunters.
That said, this has not stopped writers of fiction from giving their heroes and villains from all walks of life this massively overpowered weapon. It may well be on the way to being the next Model 29 or Colt Python, the iconic weapon the hero uses when they really want to kill someone/thing dead
- One of the handguns of choice for an outlaw motorcycle gang in the game Hitman: Contracts. Agent 47 can use this, and even dual wield them without obliterating his wrists.
- First showing up in Resident Evil 4 as an unlockable weapon after you beat the game, it has also appeared in Resident Evil 5, Resident Evil: The Umbrella Chronicles and Resident Evil: The Mercenaries 3D. Unsurprisingly, it can kill most enemies in one shot, but it either costs a lot of cash or comes with very little ammo. Or both.
- The Blue Sun mod for 7.62 High Caliber adds the gun, though it's quite rare and expensive (as is the ammo) and the realistic impracticality of such a massive and overpowered sidearm makes it a matter of style more than effectiveness. The mod even includes a copy of the Resident Evil 4 gun with the embedded laser pointer.
- A 4-inch barrel version shows up in Bones—used by Dr. Brennan of all people.
- The Punisher uses two, appropriately enough, in Punisher: War Zone. One with an 8-inch barrel, another with a 4-inch barrel and a low magnification scope, tactical light, muzzle break and laser sight.
- The Octopus in The Spirit uses a pair of modified 4-inch Model 500 revolvers, the barrels and chambers modified to look even bigger than the real thing.
- Shows up twice in Machete. A 4-inch model used by the title character and a 8-inch barrel version used by Lindsay Lohan's character, April Booth.
- In Just Cause 2, Rico Rodriguez runs into and uses a Model 500 with a modified barrel, based off of a Taurus Tracker. Like Agent 47, he too can go Guns Akimbo with them without consequence to himself, and he can also upgrade until it holds an impossible 12 rounds at once.
- It got an article in Badass of the Week.
- In Persona 3, Takaya Sakaki uses a large caliber revolver that the Persona 3 official art book identifies as a Model 500.
- Used by Dr. Christoff/Jebus in Madness Combat as one of his main weapons.
- Appears in the video game version of Quantum of Solace as the "LTK Super Magnum".
Colt 1851 Navy Revolver
The Colt 1851 Navy was a percussion cap (also known as cap 'n ball) revolver created by, as the name implies, legendary gunsmith Samuel Colt. The full name is "Colt Belt Pistol of Naval Calibernote
", but of course who has time for that?
To that end, the revolver was frequently called the "Navy Revolver" and later by collectors as the "Colt 1851 Navy". The pistol was an evolution of percussion pocket pistols, such as the popular Baby Dragoon and designed to be a lighter alternative to the .44 Walker Colt
. The term "belt pistol" is in fact a marketing reference to its smaller size, since it basically means "you can holster this on a belt", since the Walker Colt was so friggin' big it often had to be carried in a saddle holster. The "Navy" part? In addition to the caliber, Samuel Colt was so appreciative of the Texas Navy for purchasing an earlier model of pistol he manufactured that he named it after them and included a scene of a famous Texas Navy battle on the cylinder of every gun
Thanks in large part to an aggressive marketing campaign and the pistol's more manageable size compared to the .44 Walker Colt, the 1851 Navy became one of the most popular handguns of the period, with total production numbers exceeded only by the Colt Pocket pistol, becoming one of Colt's earliest mass-market successes. The design would also be adapted to the U.S. Army standard .44 revolver round as the 1860 Army model, and this was in turn adapted to an improved .36 caliber model, the 1861 Navy. The 1851 Navy saw service on both sides of the American Civil War
(despite the name, the US Army and Confederate Army both used Colt Navy revolvers too, and the US Navy also issued Colt Army revolvers) and service across Europe, Asia and Africa. Canada
, Tsarist Russia
and Austria-Hungary all used Navy Revolvers, with several thousand Navy Revolvers produced in London. The pistol also became popular during the early years of The Wild West
and the famous users is practically a Who's Who of frontier celebrities. Among the most famous users of Navy Revolvers included Wild Bill Hickok
, Robert E. Lee
, Ned Kelly
, John Henry "Doc" Holliday
and Sir Richard Francis Burton
. The Navy Revolver was produced from 1851 to 1873, in several versions with production ending in the wake of metallic cartridge pistols
such as the above mentioned (and today, more famous) Colt Single Action Army, though later Navy Revolvers were modified to accept metallic cartridges. Modern reproductions are offered by such companies as Uberti for Civil War reenactments, Wild West aficionados and period films, many of which are also modified to accept metallic cartridges. Many of the modern reproductions have brass frames, which had been a cost-saving measure in the Confederate-made copies during the Civil War and is now popular both because it replicates the much rarer Confederate model and also because it looks cool
- The Navy Revolver appears as the personal sidearm of Rooster Cogburn in the 2010 version of True Grit.
- During the gun store scene in Dawn Of The Dead 1978, Peter grabs and holsters a pair of Navy Revolvers, most probably reproductions.
- Mr. Schermerhorns goes Guns Akimbo with a pair of Navy Revolvers during the Draft Riots scene to defend himself and his home in Gangs of New York.
- Befitting a Wild West fanboy, Inspector Frank Butterman wields a pair of gold inlaid, ivory-gripped Navy Revolvers towards the end of Hot Fuzz.
- It shows up several times in Glory. The most iconic scene in which it appears being where Colonel Shaw fires it into the air to test Private Jupiter's skills under (mock) fire.
- It appears in several instances in the film Gettysburg on both the Union and Confederate sides.
- Bioshock Infinite's Hand Cannon is modeled after a Colt 1851, but takes a few liberties with the design. Namely, it fires metal cartridges and uses a break-top action as opposed to a percussion cap system. As the name implies, it is one of the most powerful weapons in the game, unupgraded capable of taking down most regular Mooks in one or two shots.
- In Kino's Journey, one of the title character's sidearms is a heavily modified Colt 1851 London Model that fires .44 caliber rounds propelled by "liquid gunpowder". Firing high-power rounds sees Kino using the loading lever as a foregrip.
- In The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, Navy Revolvers modified to fire metallic cartridges are seen in the hands of Blondie, Angel Eyes and Tuco. Blondie's pistol has a silver snake etched into the grip.
- In The Quick and the Dead John Herod makes Cort use an old, banged-up Colt 1851 to participate in the tournament with, with one bullet so he can't shoot his way out of town. The gun is a Richards-Mason cartridge conversion, most obviously seen when Cort is seen loading the gun with metallic cartridges.
- Dances with Wolves makes this John Dunbar's sidearm throughout the film. This too was a cartridge conversion model.
- The biopic Wild Bill sees the titular character using his iconic pistols, also cartridge-firing conversions.
- 3:10 to Yuma (2007) sees this as Dan's weapon. It's a cartridge conversion, most clearly seen in the scene where he loads the revolver while he packs up for the trip.
- Killing Floor added the 1851 as the "Flare Revolver" for its 2012 Summer event. As the name suggests, it fires flares instead of regular bullets; like every other pistol in the game, it can also be dual-wielded.
- In Rick O Shay, gunslinger Hipshot Percussion carries a pair of Navy revolvers converted to use metal cartridges.
- In Portlandtown The Marshal uses a Colt Navy.